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  • Treatment

    The conditions that cause dilated cardiomyopathy are treated. Heart failure is treated by:

    • Taking medicines
    • Making important changes in your lifestyle (dieting, exercising, stopping smoking, stopping alcohol use or using it only in moderation, and stopping the use of other substances such as illegal drugs)
    • Knowing your body and the symptoms of heart failure
    • Wearing a pacemaker to treat a slow heart rate or to help both sides of your heart beat at the same time
    • Wearing a defibrillator that sends an electrical pulse to stop life-threatening, abnormal heart rhythms

    See also: Heart failure

    A cardiac catheterization may be done to see if you need coronary artery bypass (CABG) surgery or a balloon procedure (angioplasty), whcih can immprove blood flow to the damaged or weakened heart muscle. It may also be done to measure pressures and check your heat function (called right-heart catheterization).

    If you have tried all of the standard treatments and still have very severe symptoms, you may need a heart transplant. Recently, implantable artificial heart pumps have been developed. However, very few patients are able to have this advanced treatment.

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    Expectations (prognosis)

    The outlook depends on many different things, including:

    • Cause and type of cardiomyopathy
    • How well you respond to treatment
    • How severe the heart problem is

    Often, you can control heart failure with medicine, lifestyle changes, and by treating the condition that caused it.

    Heart failure may suddenly become worse due to:

    • Angina
    • Eating high-salt foods
    • Heart attack
    • Infections or other illnesses
    • Not taking your medicine correctly

    Heart failure is usually a long-term (chronic) illness. It may get worse over time. Some people develop severe heart failure that medicines, surgery, and other treatments can no longer help.

    Patients with certain types of cardiomyopathy and heart failure are at risk for dangerous heart rhythm problems.